The life of Roma gypsies

Associated Press
In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Miguel Begin, the chief of operations for the Canada Border Services Agency's Stanstead sector, stands at the Canadian port of entry in Stanstead, Quebec. Canadian immigration officials on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 said a Romanian smuggling ring has been bringing Gypsies into the U.S. through Mexico in order for them to eventually gain asylum in Canada. Over the past year, cars loaded with ethnic Roma asylum seekers have run the border between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

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The Roma are descendants of nomads who moved out of what is now India 800 years ago. They speak a distinct language, a variation of Hindi. They have been forcibly resettled through the ages and were put in concentration camps during World War II. More than 1 million Roma are believed to be living in Romania, a country of about 22 million. There is widespread prejudice against Roma, who are often unemployed and lack formal education because they do not always send their children to school. Because of poverty and prejudice, Roma often travel to Italy, Spain, France and Britain, where they beg, busk, live off welfare benefits or get involved in petty crime, according to authorities in those countries. (AP)

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